I know that winter is coming to an end when the deer start eating the snowberries and the squirrels take to what remain of the campion flower. That’s the thing about longevity in place, the habits of critters tell me far more than the weather channel.
It’s been a relatively smooth snow season here with the exception of course when I got trapped inside for a few days by the ice-wall at the gate. I even managed to gauge just the right amount of wood needed until mid March and still have a little left over. I burn the stove hot and clean with good dry wood, there’s an art to it. The radiant heat of fire not only warms the house but has become the winter staging ground for conversation that otherwise might not have been had and believe me, there’s been more than a few prescient conversations in front of that fire.
I don’t know if I’m quite ready to go beyond the snow-time, the early winds rattled about last night, swept low through the snowberries in the evening then picked up gusts at the top of the big cottonwood and cedar in the gully. The shift from one season to the next is never a straight up dividing line, there’s always a crossover of signals in the emergence.
The woodshed needs cleaning.
I heard a junco yesterday.